Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Two's a crowd

Especially in the crime fiction world, you hear a lot of crap from writers about technique. Draw the reader in. Make him love that protagonist. Make her hate that villain. Make them care. OK, not all of it is crap, but I find it oppressive. Anyone would think writing is not a solitary thing.

Anyway, this is all just a means of pointing you towards this interview with James Kelman, who is lumbered with no such self-consciousness:

"I never bothered about alienating readers, neither then nor now. The priority was to write the story properly. The readers could take care of themselves."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Remake News

Will Smith has signed up for the proposed remake of the 1996 movie INDEPENDANCE DAY. Asked how he would justify a remake of such a recent film, he said: "In the modern world, time moves more quickly than in old-fashioned times. Therefore we don't have to wait thirty or more years before we can get away with a remake. More shit goes under the bridge. Also we thought it would be cool to make the president an African American. That's who I'm playing, actually. I've been doing intensive training with one of the world's top rousing speech experts and I can't wait to show you all my chops. And we thought it would be a fun twist to make the hotshot pilot a white man this time. Not only is he a white man now, but he is a woman. An Asian woman. Also we know more about aliens now. We know, for example, that they cannot in fact control our minds like we thought they could back in '96. It is actually our bladders that they control. So now we have the aliens making people urinate at their will, thereby giving us a new angle on the action."

Asked if he thought there would be more of an anti-war theme, Smith said: "The aliens are also going to look different this time. Instead of all those tentacles and shit, they are going to look more like us. We are going to have white ones and Asian ones and African American ones, to show that we are all the same under the skin. And there is going to be a couple of good aliens who try to sabotage the evil shit that is planned. They will be played by Cuba Gooding Jr and Lucy Liu. The evil alien boss will be Alan Rickman. Also some of the humans will have tentacles, to show that we are all the same under the skin."

In other news, John Carpenter's 1981 classic ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is going to get a remake.

NB: Those linking here from movie news sites should be aware that this post is TOTAL BULLSHIT. Apart from the bit about Escape From New York. Sheesh...

Cox in a Box

Alex Cox tells it like they don't want to hear it in the Guardian:

We are told 10 Rillington Place "brilliantly embodies the seedy degradation of the real little Britain of the time". Get Carter depicts "a Britain paralysed by strikes and a failing economy ... in short, a nation on the skids". Get Carter was made in 1971. I was a teenager then, and can assure the promoters of this depressing vision that, despite strikes and IRA atrocities, Albion was a long way from skid row. When I went to college, the government paid for it. I incurred no debt. The state owned the water pipes, the reservoirs, the airline, the lecky, the telephone system and the railways, which ran on time and were reasonably cheap. We weren't engaged in two wars of colonial aggression. Muslims weren't our enemies. And the weather was great!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Four films seen over the weekend

SIDEWAYS I loved this. A repressed writer goes on a booze cruise with his unrestrained mate. Could there be a better tag-line than that? (Actually I made it up.)


What happened to this film? It's fucking ace. Clearly a lot was taken from Baz Luhrman, but the whole idea behind this film had me slotting her in the player short of breath and with tremulous fingers, and I was not disappointed. Christopher Eccleston was brilliant and hard as nails, and it was good to see Eddie Izzard playing the least camp of the Duke's five sons. Alex Cox and Frank Cottrell Boyce pulled the perfect trick - giving us a 400 year old play and making it fresh. That's all you need to do, 400 year old play-wise. But why doesn't this film have a higher profile? Ah, I know... Thomas Middleton's name is not William Shakespeare.


I could destroy this film. I could attack it from every angle, like a turn-of-the-millenium Real Madrid side, picking at every glaring defiency bit by bit before firing home with the unstoppable fact that the directors are artists and not film directors. But... I liked it. I fucking loved this film. I want to watch it again! Ninety minutes of Zinedine Zidane's every move and gesture, totally ignoring the ball and the other players, is fine by me.


The edited video diaries of Rick Kirkham - TV news anchorman, loving father, all-round American good guy and hopeless crack addict. Rarely have I been so compelled by the fruits of our self-obsessed, self-documenting age. Absolutely harrowing viewing, but it just seemed so right that one whose whole identity is built around TV-friendliness should have a desperate need to fill himself full of crack cocaine.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hatton vs Mayweather - it's on

Wow, never thought it would come so quick. The biggest fight in boxing is going to take place, probably in November. Trust me, non-boxing fans, you are going to know all about this fight by then. Expect major hype.

Of course, this is on top of the other biggest fight in boxing.

French Interview

If you are au fait with the gallic tongue (or actually possess one), you might want to check this interview on the SNCF site. LES ALLONGÉS (DEADFOLK) is up for the Prix SNCF Polar this summer, in case you didn't know.